Eufy RoboVac G30 | $230 | Amazon
Who’d have guessed that the first real use of robots—and so far, for the last 20 years or so, only real use of robots—in the home would be robotic vacuum cleaners? I mean besides Luc Besson, of course, whose Fifth Element future only predicts robotic vacuums and bartenders. Anyway, now the damn things are everywhere, and it’s hard to know which ones are worthwhile and which ones aren’t, and while I’m not prescribing this one to solve all your dirty floor needs, I do own the Eufy RoboVac G30—well, I own the Hybrid version that mops as well as sweeps—and I can tell you from personal experience that it works fine, and it’s on sale for just $230 right now.
What can it do? It can map your floor while it cleans, allowing it to clean a little more efficiently than the Roomba of old, which would just randomly flit about your room, frustratingly missing the same spots over and over again. Because it maps the floor, if the robot runs low on battery before it’s finished the job, it will go charge, then pick up where it left off to wrap things up. It can also communicate with your smart home assistant (Siri excluded), so you don’t actually have to bend over and turn it on. With magnetic strips that you lay on the floor, under rugs, and so forth, you’re able to prevent it from going to certain areas of your home (you don’t have to buy the expensive Eufy ones, by the way–these will work just fine)You can even switch it to manual control when it’s just not doing what you want, or you want to bother your pets. What doesn’t it do? Well, it won’t empty itself, and it sure won’t pick up large objects, and it has a lot of trouble with things like rubber bands, flat scraps of paper or leaves, and if you spill a bag of sugar on the floor, it will pick up a lot of it, but you’re going to have to bust out the broom to really get it all.
It’s been my experience, though, that most robot vacuums work best on a nightly schedule, keeping a room far cleaner than most people are willing to expend the effort to accomplish. They’re fine for spot cleaning a lot of the time, but you may as well just get the broom for that. Granted, I haven’t dropped a thousand bucks on a robot vacuum yet—maybe those will clean everything and give you a foot massage after, I don’t know. What I do know is that this Eufy vacuum does its job, the parts are almost all replaceable, and mine hasn’t driven off any stairs or anything.